Simone de Beauvoir said, “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” Fifteen students from the MHS art and media club, accompanied by teachers Nancy Pauli and Nancy Quade, made the same discovery on their recent visit to the Big Apple. Their five-day trip included dozens of New York City’s iconic attractions from the Empire State Building to Grand Central Station and Chinatown. Who can sleep when Little Italy, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Katz’s Deli are waiting right outside your door?
Here’s what they saw:
Day One: They started with the Guggenheim, the Empire State Building, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and Central Park. “St. John the Divine was amazing,” said MHS student Kennedy Hilbrands.
Day Two took them to Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Greenwich Village. “Greenwich Village had a lot of history,” said MHS art teacher and chaperone Nancy Pauli.
They ate lunch at Madison Square Garden and experienced the water fountains at New York University (NYU) in Washington Square. Other more modern attractions included stopping at Molly’s Cupcakes, which was featured on the baking competition show, Cupcake Wars, and visiting the apartment where the tv sitcom, Friends, was filmed. The evening found them at the Broadway play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Day Three: Despite 95-degree temperatures, the group toured the 911 Memorial Museum, the Statue of Liberty and New York City’s Financial District. Then, for a taste of home, they visited Tommy John’s the underwear company founded by Milbank’s own Tom Patterson. Patterson treated them to a personal tour and a lot of underwear humor. “We spent nearly two hours there and it was really amazing and impressive,” several students agreed. “Tom gave us so much stuff -Magnolia cupcakes and a gift bag full of Tommy Johns stuff.”
The evening found them at another Broadway play – Wicked. “It was so good,” said MHS student Tori Quade. “Their voices were incredible.”
Day Four: The group headed out early to the set of Good Morning America. “When we got there they put up this big wall right in front of us,” chaperone and MHS teacher Nancy Quade explained. “But some people left and we got to move so that’s how we got on the show.” The producers had planned squirt gun painting for that morning’s show. “They were supposed to shoot the paint into the crowd, but I ended up getting it all right in the face from Michael (Strahan),” Tori said, although she didn’t sound disappointed. “And it was glitter paint – so I got to shine all day long.”
Another highlight was the Top of the Rock with three observation decks. “You could see for miles,” MHS student Mackayla Schuelke said. “It was beautiful.” Nancy Pauli said one of her favorite things was MOMA – the Museum of Modern Art. “I’ve wanted to see it my entire life.”
The group was led by WorldStrides, an organization that accompanies more than 270,000 students to over 85 countries each year. The students spent two years fundraising to finance the trip. They sold Hardees tickets, Qdoba certificates, and cotton candy. They hosted 23 concession stands. They also were the benefactors of a quarter auction sponsored by Milbank’s Quarters 4 the Community. The trip cost $2500 per student.
Several students took the same trip in 2015, but observed this one was better. “We walked a lot – not as much as last time – but were able to enjoy things at a more leisurely pace,” said Schuelke. “This time we were able to take it all in. It seemed like the people were much more friendly. We never felt afraid.”
Students in attendance on the trip include: Brittany Preller, Haeley Seehafer, Kennedy Hilbrands, Devon Balling, Savannah Mork, Paige Johnson, Maddy Liebe, Lauren McDonald, Jenny Seehafer, Tori Quade, Presley Peschong, Angela Hoeke, Sophia Seffrood, Mady Hilbrands, and MacKayla Schuelke.